Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars

Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars

I’ve had raw foods on my mind lately.  Not salads and such.  But hearty, wholesome, healthy desserts that can also be a snack or part of a well-rounded breakfast without any of the guilt.  I could say it’s part of thinking ahead to Andrew Wilder’s October Unprocessed event at Eating Rules.  But not really.  It’s more likely related to the fact that I had to give up dairy about a month ago and I’m trying to widen my repertoire even more.

After a few tries, I wound up with these Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars that I was pleased with.  I was eating them for snacks, with breakfast, and as a dessert.  Now, if I could only get the Raw Banana Pudding to come together like it should…

One word of warning, store these uncovered in the fridge.  The condensation from covering it will make the crust soggy.  These will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars

Crust: 2 cups almond meal/flour

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tablespoon raw local honey, optional (or other sweetener for vegan option)

Filling: 24 ounces blueberries

2 tablespoons raw local honey (or other sweetener for vegan option)

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon agar agar flakes

1/2 tablespoon lavender, plus more for garnish

Wash blueberries and lay out to dry.   In a small bowl or 1-2 cup glass measuring cup, pour in the water and agar agar.  Mix just a little and set aside.  You want the agar agar to expand quite a bit.  In a medium mixing bowl, add the almond meal, coconut oil, and optional sweetener.  Cut the oil into the almond meal with a fork until small crumbs form.  Transfer the crust mix into an 8 x 8 pan.  Press the crust out to the edges of the dish, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes.  In a large food processor or a blender, place the blueberries, sweetener, and lavender.  Process for at least 30 seconds.  Stop and add the water agar agar mix and then process another 1-2 minutes.  Pour over prepared crust and chill at least 30 minutes.  Cut and serve cold.  Garnish with a pinch of lavender.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang. 

Delightful Decadence – April In The Raw: Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake

After setting in the fridge for 2 hours

When Brittany asked me to participate in the April In The Raw event.  I happily said yes.  Salad seemed too simple to do.  Smoothies also too easy.  I wanted a challenge.  First, I made a Raw Pina Colada Pie that was pretty good.  Then, Iris challenged me a month ago when we were trading comments with Brittany about gluten-free cake after Iris posted a link to her Gluten-free, Vegan Birthday Cake that she posted last Summer.

I have not had cake since going gluten-free over a year ago.  I am not tempted to buy any kind of gluten-free baking mix, be it brownie, cookie, or cake to make a quick fix.  1) It keeps me from making too many baked goods.  2) It forces me to get used to gluten-free baking from scratch.  3) Baking from scratch always tastes better and you have control over what goes in the goodies.

So, Iris decided not having cake in over a year was not good and that maybe I should make a raw cake.

That did it.  The wheels started turning.  I had already made the Raw Pina Colada Pie and still had some pineapple.  Why not try a pina colada cake?  Turns out it was even better than the filling for the Raw Pina Colada Pie, but didn’t set well.  You can bet I will be trying it again the next time I have pineapple.

Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake

The wheels spun more and I started thinking about truffles and Peppermint Mochas.

You can thank PMS for this.  That, and my love for chocolate.  Dark and rich.

After mixing everything together, I needed a taste to make sure I didn’t need to add anything before pouring it into the dish.  I was in love.  No adjusting necessary.  For 2 hours I paced and obsessed.  I wanted a pieced of that cake.  It was mostly set as you can see in the first picture.  Later, that night I took another piece out and took the second picture.  The edges are a bit difficult to get out without tearing it all up but it was set better this time.

Last week, I had a piece with me at work and was eating it in the break room after finishing dinner.  One of our operators came in for her dinner break as I started to eat it and she commented on how good it looked.  I offered her a taste but she turned it down even after I told her it was refined sugar-free and had nutrient dense ingredients.   We started chatting about other stuff and she was trying to tell me something, but the more I ate, the more side-tracked I became.  I focused more on each bite I took both mentally and physically.  Savoring.  I realized all of a sudden that she stopped talking and was quiet.  Oops!  I looked up and apologized immediately.  She told me not to worry and said that I looked like I was enjoying it.  Boy was I!  That my friends, is what chocolate wasted is all about.

I wasn’t joking about nutrient dense.  Almond meal, raw cacao, coconut oil, and coconut cream concentrate.  Tons of protein, good for you flavonoids, healthy oils, and anti-inflammatory.  Plus, this will keep well in the fridge for a while, so you don’t feel like you have to eat it all at once, even if you have the desire to after that first bite.  I still have 2 pieces.

Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake

2 cups almond meal

1 cup raw cacao powder (I used Navitas Naturals)

2 tablespoons ground espresso (I used decaf, you can use regular if you want a real good buzz.  bzzz bzzz bzzz)

1/4 cup coconut cream concentrate

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 cup water or coconut milk (unsweetened)

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Whisk together dry ingredients (almond meal, raw cacao powder, and ground espresso) in a large mixing bowl.  Mix together remaining ingredients in another bowl until well combined.  Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry while mixing together and the same time with a large spoon.  Mix until well combined.  It should look like shiny cake batter that is a little thin.  Pour into an 8×8 baking dish and chill at least 6 hours.   You can garnish pieces with some raw cacao nibs and mint leaves.

You can use this to make truffles, too.  After chilling 2 hours you can remove the batter, scoop it out, roll into balls and coat with your choice of ingredients.  My choice would be raw cacao nibs.  You can also pour the batter into ramekins or muffin a muffin tin with liners to make individual servings if you are making this for a dinner party.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and at April In The Raw at Real Sustenance.